Increasingly offices, factories and other workplaces are installing EV chargers for employees, especially if they operate pool cars or fleets.
It’s a great cost-effective way to charge an electric car while it’s parked up and you’re working – even more so if your company is covering the energy cost.
How long will it take to charge at work?
Depending on the equipment that’s been installed, the charger could be anything from a commercial wallbox charging unit (most likely between 7kW and 22kW) all the way up to 50kW DC supplied charge points that will deliver much faster charging.
As an example, the Volkswagen ID.3 with 58kWh battery would take eight to 12 hours on a 7kW charger to get from 0-100%. This would reduce to a getting a few hours if the you had a faster 50kW DC charger at work.
If you work in an office and only use the car for commuting, the slowly 7kW unit would be perfect to get you almost full during the working day.
How much does it cost to charge an EV at work?
If you have an employer that provides access to electric vehicle chargers, you could find yourself with reasons to celebrate.
The first is that electricity isn’t classed as a vehicle fuel by HMRC, so there are no Benefit-in-Kind tax payments to make if an employer provides free charging to you as a member of staff.
We’re increasingly seeing organisations offer free charging as a perk to staff, while some are also using it as a way of incentivising its employees to go electric.
It will be interesting to see how long companies will continue to pay for staff to charge for free, but if companies commit to using only sustainable electricity, it’s entirely possible that it will continue to be a perk.
However, companies might decide to offer some free time, but charge for anything beyond that. Some organisations that have already installed chargepoints for employees have created their own payment schemes, with fixed-price plans for access.
That form of discounting the cost of electricity for staff would still be a cheap way to charge, though, as it’ll likely be cheaper than charging on the go or adding it to your home electricity bill.
How much does it cost to install workplace chargers?
Companies can get government help to help pay for charger installation through the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), a voucher-based scheme run by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Together, that alphabet soup of agencies contributes to the upfront costs of purchase and installation. Find out the latest here.
This means that if your employer hasn’t yet installed a charger, there’s a persuasive financial argument you can put to them. The average price for a fully installed Type 2 7kW twin unit should be around £1,500, after the WCS Grant. But there are benefits for the bosses, too.
Why should employers install workplace chargers now?
Organisations that use vehicles in any capacity – from delivery vans to company and pool cars – are in the process of switching to EVs.
How quick that process is will depend on the different needs of organisations, but with tightening of emissions regulations in towns and cities, EVs will soon be a necessity for many.
So not only is now the time to switch to EVs for fleets, it’s also the time to install chargers. Companies will inevitably have to do it, to charge its own vehicles: why not now?
Installing chargers will also support employees who wish to contribute to reducing CO2 – and send a positive message about how the organisation addresses corporate social responsibility and sustainability policies. It’s a win-win.